The Race Experience

Looking for a new and wholly unique way to safely foster discussions on race?

The Race Experience Kiosk provides a personal, one-of-a-kind race morphing experience, and will encourage conversations about race (and our deep rooted beliefs), racism and identity.

For more information visit The Race Experience  or visit the Race Experience on Facebook

Zach Wahls

The son of two lesbian mothers, the 19-year-old University of Iowa engineering student had no idea that his heartfelt testimony that day would spread like viral wildfire, and even have him on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

A state champion in high school debate and multiple national finalist in competitive acting, Zach was no stranger to speaking before an audience. Yet, he had never talked about his family in a public setting or in such open and candid terms. On his way home from the public hearing, he thought that his work was, for all practical purposes, finished.

Just two days after he testified during that hearing, however, a YouTube video of his testimony went viral, garnering nearly two million views with millions more via Facebook, Twitter, national and international television, and other online media.

Although initially hesitant to share his story on such a vast stage, Zach remembered the famed words of his favorite superhero’s uncle, Ben Parker:  “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Never before in his life had he had such an opportunity to stand up and speak out on behalf of his family. So he did what any of us would do, deciding to advocate for family and families like his all over the country.

Zach shares a story that has never before been told, and offers a fresh, bold perspective on a recently rekindled — and always contentious- issue:  gay marriage.

Like any family’s story, his is one of highs and lows, laughs and tribulations.  You’ll laugh, you may even cringe, and no matter your thoughts on marriage equality in our country, you’ll walk away with a new perspective and something to think about.

The speech from Zach Wahls in which the Iowa college student urged the state legislature to reject a constitutional amendment that would deny marriage equality to his lesbian mothers has topped the list of the most watched political videos on YouTube in 2011, with 18.3 million views.


Jim Donovan

High Impact Team Building, Energizers & Icebreakers For Your Next Corporate Event.

Your business is a community, and the value of a united community is irreplaceable.

Using drums and percussion, Jim Donovan quickly turns any group into a multi-voice, yet unified percussion orchestra!

Jim Donovan is an award winning facilitator and performer. He was recently named Drum Circle Facilitator of the Year by the readers of Drum! Magazine. He was also founding member of the multi-platinum band Rusted Root from 1990-2005. His music can be heard in major motion films such as “Ice Age”, “Twister” and “Matilda”.

Why Drumming?

It levels the playing field.
Creating music together creates lasting bonds between people unlike any other. By putting all of your employees (CEO’s included) on the level playing field of group drumming, watch how the hierarchies melt away and you each begin to see the importance of every player in the room.

 It creates a strong sense of team.
Create more effective team members by turning them into deeper listeners. Drumming unifies and creates a common purpose for your team and is the perfect metaphor for working together in harmony while highlighting the importance of the group dynamic.

It encourages creative thinking.
When you drum, it demands that you think outside the box. Drumming uses both hemispheres of the brain. Each player learns how to balance their creativity and expression while supporting others in their own pursuits.

It quickly brings focus and concentration to large groups.
Drumming helps to bring immediate focus to any size group. Within moments, everyone is on the same page, letting go of worries, skepticism and concerns, and is immersed into an enjoyable group experience.

It fosters cooperation instead of competition.
Your employees/team members will feel camaraderie and closeness as they experience making music together.

It melts stress.
Drumming is scientifically documented to quickly and safely help people release stress. With the first five minutes you will feel a significant shift in how you feel, and also how the group is better able to focus.

It stimulates deep listening.
Group drumming demands that you learn to hear subtleness. You learn to hear more than one thing at a time. You learn to hear more than just yourself. It increases awareness of others while participants learn to listen and interact with each other.

It helps participants to find their own voice.
Learn the power of individual contribution. In their expression individuals make a unique contribution to the success of the entire group. Group drumming is the perfect metaphor for relationships in the workplace and is a cathartic way to enhance personal and self-awareness. Drumming with others with a group encourages self-expression and personal growth.

It is easy, energizing and enjoyable!
Percussion is RIGHT NOW. You pick it up, you strike it and it makes a sound. With Jim’s leadership any group can be turned into a “percussive orchestra” within a very short time.  Jim Donovan’s Corporate Drumming Programs specialize in building  immediate energetic synergy within groups who usually take a long time to develop.

It can happen anywhere.
Your conference hall,  your business, auditorium, outside (weather permitting), parking lot.  Jim has facilitated sessions in very diverse settings such as a woodworking sawmill, a juvenile prison, factory manufacturing floor, cafeterias and more.


Testimonials


This was a great session! It was energetic, fun and tied really well to our value messages. Especially “Winning Together” and “Courage”. It was a invaluable addition to our meeting!

Chrissy Stengel
-Senior Manager, Corporate Communications Del Monte

Your program was fun, informative and very relaxing. I enjoyed working with my fellow Piggers in a different way. We actually learned and achieved things without the pressures of everyday business. It helped me focus and clear my mind. I was a little skeptical at first but once we got started I was a believer. I always wanted to play music but never took the time to learn. You made it easy for a novice like me to feel good about what I produced. It was a great feeling. Thank You.
Mark A. DeYulis
-New Pig Corporation, Tipton, PA

I would recommend this experience to others, especially the focus on listening skills and the analogies that can be drawn into the work experience, listening to your co-workers, playing a supporting role, a partnering role, an oppositional role, a baseline role, a complementary role.
Kristi Yager
-FED EX Ground University, Pittsburgh, PA

Uplifting, Stress-busting, Smile-making, Groove-finding . . . what more can I say? Jim Donovan’s Corporate Drumming program exceeded even our highest expectations. At the outset, it was clear that Jim’s deep-seeded love for drumming was going to be infectious. What was a surprise, though, was that he was able to turn a ragtag band of carpenters, timberframers, architects, engineers, and designers into a rock-solid ensemble weaving complex rhythms into a single, powerful groove. When we first booked the drumming workshop, there was a lot of trepidation from the non-musicians in the group, and more than a little hand-wringing from some who questioned the intrinsic value of a drum workshop for a company that designs and builds houses. In the final analysis, though, the hand-drumming appealed to virtually everyone. As a part of our events committee, it was really gratifying to see all that trepidation and hand-wringing dissolve into easy smiles and confident participation.
Erik Walker
-Benson Wood Walpole, NH

Your part of the session certainly provided the participants with a unique and deeper perspective on teamwork, creativity, and the role of the individual on success. Plus, it was just darn fun bangin’ on drums for a while!
Tim Zak
-President, Pittsburgh Social Enterprise Accelerator

Daryl Davis

Having spent time in 51 countries around the world, nationally acclaimed Race Relations Expert & Consultant DARYL DAVIS brings a unique wealth of empirical knowledge rarely seen on the corporate lecture circuit.  This dynamic speaker, internationally known musician, actor and author, has taken his experience transcending racial and cultural barriers around the world and successfully applied them here in his own country, the United States of America.  Envision these highly improbable and unlikely scenarios:

  • A Black man, unarmed and alone, at a Ku Klux Klan rally, not agreeing with their ideology but leaving with their respect.
  • A Black man coming closer to the White Supremacist movement than most Whites and certainly most Blacks, short of being on the wrong end of a rope.
  • A Black man having dinner with members of the KKK in his home and in theirs.
  • A Black Man given robes & hoods by Klan members who have renounced their beliefs and voluntarily left the KKK.

Daryl Davis has lived all of these scenarios and accomplished much more in his efforts to implement diversity appreciation and racial harmony.  Details of his encounters with our own domestic terrorists are in found in his nonfiction book, KLAN-DESTINE RELATIONSHIPS, which has been used as a “Must Read” for all incoming freshmen by a major university.  Daryl is a seasoned and compelling speaker, who has brought his bridge building advice, diversity training, and conflict resolution techniques to corporations and government agencies nationwide. He has also served as an advisor and consultant to media outlets and law enforcement agencies.  Mr. Davis is the recipient of the Washington Ethical Society Bridge Builder Award and the highly prestigious American Ethical Union’s Elliott-Black Award, among many others.  In our currently diverse, yet divisive society and workplace, his message is timely, inspiring, and motivating!

Davis successfully empowers his audience to:

  • Confront and overcome their fears and prejudices
  • Recognize similarities, appreciate differences, and learn from both
  • Navigate in diverse societies in any area at any given time
  • Improve relationships with adversaries

Davis’s unique and successful methods, have garnished him respect from, but not limited to the following:

CNN                Learning Channel                    Geraldo                           Christian Science Monitor

NBC                Discovery Channel                  Maury Povich              University of California

ABC                Pacifica Radio                           Rosanne Barr               Washington State University

FOX                 Washington Post                      Jenny Jones                Lucent Technologies

PBS                  Baltimore Sun                          Inside Edition              National Institute of Health

BBC                 Good Morning America       Hard Copy                    Lansing Police Department

NPR                Atlanta Journal Constitution    People Magazine        Longwood University

Diversity Matters

DIVERSITY MATTERS NOW

Arthur Romano
Cherine Badawi



Our approach:

Diversity Matters Now! is driven by a core understanding: valuing and leveraging diversity is an organizational imperative which directly and positively impacts morale, retention, productivity and organizational culture.

Typically, our trainings are offered in two formats:

  • A fast track training that is a half daylong
  • A deep track training that is a full daylong

We also offer 60 and 90 minute keynote sessions that can be infused into a larger professional development program to support team building and address diversity, intercultural communication and interpersonal skill building.

Why Diversity Matters Now?

We understand that businesses with culturally and socially diverse staffs or clientele may have encountered misunderstandings, conflicts, or even lawsuits based on issues of difference. Such challenges impede collaboration, collegiality and productivity among employees. Our trainings enable businesses and organizations to:

  • Cultivate interpersonal skills
  • Leverage workforce diversity
  • Navigate conflict & differences
  • Develop visioning & planning skills
  • Create an inclusive workspace
  • Enhance intercultural understanding
  • Dissipate tension & conflict
  • Understand & leverage emotional intelligence

We explore the complex realities of our increasingly diverse professional communities in a manner that is accessible and exciting so that your company can move beyond standard platitudes about respecting difference into a shared understanding of what’s possible.

In addition to offering specific skills and themes that are geared toward your company’s needs, our trainings serve as excellent team building sessions that yield a more inclusive workspace and sense of community and purpose, inviting deeper participation and buy-in of all employees.

The shared understanding and tangible skills our trainings provide will contribute to the productivity and collaborative power of your company for years to come.

Outcomes:

Through deepening understanding and appreciation of individual and personal differences, participants will explore how diversity affects the team, and learn to cultivate a more inclusive, cohesive community.

Participants will:

  • Develop meaningful ways of understanding, listening to and responding to diversity concerns
  • Learn how to be proactive rather than reactive in their communications
  • Cultivate new understandings of diversity issues in a way that goes beyond simply emphasizing differences
  • Engage in real dialogue around diversity, thereby reducing superficial confrontations and promoting a more comfortable work environment
  • Discover how diversity issues impact themselves and others
  • Understand diversity as an asset rather than a detriment
  • Empathize with and feel more connected to one another

What we will cover:

  • Dynamics of power, prejudice and privilege across race, gender, sexual orientation, ability and age
  • Obstacles that get in the way of us seeing each other and working together effectively as a synergetic team
  • Fun and experiential simulations and activities that explore diversity, inclusion and interconnectivity

This training is intended for:

  • Organizations striving to navigate conflicts and tensions in the workplace that may stem from misunderstandings around diversity
  • Organizations seeking to cultivate stronger collegial bonds and understanding
  • Organizations with a diverse client base seeking support in effectively working with different populations

Participants may include:

  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Administrators
  • Employees
  • Human Resource Specialists
  • Auxiliary Staff

Facilitators’ Bios

Cherine Badawi has devoted her life to developing and facilitating experiential trainings that bring diverse individuals together in authentic, purposeful exchange. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her Master’s degree in Public Administration and Peace and Conflict Studies from the premier graduate school of diplomacy in Tokyo, Japan. Cherine’s past professional experience includes serving as a senior trainer for Challenge Day, an innovative inclusion program recently featured on MTV and the Oprah Winfrey show, as well as supporting a multitude of non profit, corporate and transnational non governmental agencies including UNESCO,  Bayer Healthcare, American Medical Response, Rotary International, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, A Safe Place, the American Friends Service Committee, The Mosaic Project, The Scholar Ship, and the International Labor Organization.

Arthur Romano is a diversity training specialist and certified nonviolence trainer with more than a decade of experience working with businesses and international organizations including Rotary International, the United Nations, and the Medrex Corporation and the city of Newark. Arthur regularly designs and facilitates programs that support organizations in implementing innovative approaches to conflict resolution, leadership development and multi stakeholder engagement. His expertise in conflict resolution has brought him to some of the most challenging work environments in the world including the conflict-torn Niger Delta where Arthur was brought in to train ex-combatants.  Arthur received his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is completing his Ph.D in Conflict Resolution from Bradford University in the UK. Currently, in tandem with his work as a Diversity Matters Now facilitator, Arthur is a Professor at George Mason University.

Cherine and Arthur were both awarded the prestigious Rotary World Peace Fellowship which provided them with the opportunity to do extensive intercultural research overseas.  In 2007, they worked with participants from more than twenty nations to develop what eventually became the innovative curriculum of Diversity Matters Now.

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
… George Bernard Shaw …

Michael Fosberg

Incognito is a one-hour theatrical presentation that takes audiences on a compelling journey while covering issues of race, identity, diversity, and stereotypes.

Award-winning writer/actor Michael Fosberg inhabits over a dozen characters as he masterfully tells the true story of finding his biological father.

Raised in a working-class white family, Michael discovers at age thirty-two that his long-lost father is actually African-American.

This entertaining and enlightening tale of self-discovery will challenge your company’s employees to carefully examine their assumptions about others.

Each performance is followed by insightful, thought-provoking, and engaging discussions led by Michael, who gently guides groups across topics the play exposes — stereotypes, biases, micro-inequities, identity and more. Michael also leads workshops for those who wish to further the conversations on these important issues.

Michael holds a BFA degree from the University of Minnesota.  While in Minnesota he founded the Small Change Original Theater in Minneapolis where he wrote & directed tours of educational shows throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, North & South Dakota. In Los Angeles he served as the Director of Education for the Living Library Theatre, and a teacher/director for South Coast Repertory’s Young Actor’s Conservatory program. In Chicago he has appeared at Steppenwolf, Remains, Wisdom Bridge, and the Goodman Theatres, as well as co-founding the Huron Theater Ensemble.

For the past eight years he has been touring Incognito, his one-man auto-biographical play to venues nationwide, including business and corporations that appreciate Michael’s talents and unique approach to diversity education.

Testimonials

“We expected approximately 225 employees for both sessions, we ended up with 300 for the morning and close to 400 for the afternoon. In fact, several people who attended the morning returned for the afternoon!”
-Assistant Program Sponsor, Governmental Agency

“The feedback I have received from the performances has been outstanding. Every level of the crew has sounded in with an overwhelming positive response.  Fantastic job!”
-Manager, IT Department, National Corporation

“This  is the best session I’ve ever attended!”
-Conference Attendee

“This  story is a great way  to teach diversity.”
-Conference Attendee

“Unique and remarkable.”
-Conference Attendee